I give a big thumbs up to any tool that makes it easier for me to find new wines to sip. If you’re an oenophile like me, check out Swirl It, a new iPhone app to help you pick out wines at your favorite restaurants and bars.
On the “Our Story” page on Swirl It’s website, its team is referred to as “a bunch of boozers on a mission.” Co-founders Brittany Hawkins and Nic Werner built Swirl It to combat a common problem in the wine world: in order to discover new wines, you typically have to drink a lot of bad bottles. Instead of purchasing a bottle or paying a premium for wine by the glass, the next time you’re out to eat, you can use Swirl It for personal wine recommendations based on availability and your personal tastes.
The more you use this app, the more it will “learn” about your palate and the better recommendations it will make. This isn’t an app that simply makes recommendations based on what the experts think is good. It helps you choose wines that you’ll like, based on what is on the menu wherever you are. As you try different wines, the app will start to understand what flavors you enjoy and it will give you hints on what you should look for when ordering wine. That way, you can make smarter wine choices even if you’re at a location not yet found in the app or choosing wine at the supermarket or liquor store.
Swirl It also allows you to track the wines you taste so that when you do find a vintage you like, you won’t forget it in the morning no matter how many glasses you drink the night before. When you try a wine, you can give it a thumbs-up “swirled” rating or a thumbs-down “spat” rating. Then, share your finding with friends or follow what they’re tasting to get recommendations from people you know.
Right now, Swirl It is only available on iPhone, so I guess I’ll have to wait until it comes to Android to really put this app through the ringer and enjoy using it myself. But from what I’ve seen online and on my friend’s iPhone, I’m definitely excited for this app. It’s completely free, so download it it today if you have an iPhone and start finding some tasty sips in your local neighborhood.
Allison Boyer is the Online Education Coordinator for NMX University, where you can learn more about blogging, podcasting, web TV, and social business. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister.